Happy Tuesday everyone, here's my Top 5 for May 22, 2012 from Len Berman at www.ThatsSports.com.
1. Quick Hits
- Oklahoma City eliminates the Lakers in five games. The Thunder will now play San Antonio in the Western Conference Finals. After the game gunfire erupted several blocks from the arena. Oklahoma police say eight people were wounded.
- The Boston Celtics now lead Philadelphia three games to two.
- The Devils beat the Rangers 4-1 to even their series at two games apiece.
- Reds reliever Aroldis Chapman hit 93 mph on the radar gun. Unfortunately it was police radar and he was cited for speeding. He was also arrested and later released for driving with a suspended license.
- And on May 22 the Yankees and Red Sox are tied for last place.
2. Running the Asylum
No surprise here, Orlando Magic coach Stan Van Gundy was fired and the general manager is out as well. Fair or not, the blood is on Dwight Howard's hands. Van Gundy claimed that Howard wanted him axed, Howard never said he did or didn't, but the public perception is that Howard is calling the shots. Of course we still don't know if Howard will even stay in Orlando. If he does, it'll be time for him to stand up and deliver. If he doesn't he'll take the blame for everything that happened. Either way, he's "the man" for better or for worse.
3. The Yankees*
We like to go wink wink and claim that Hank Aaron and Roger Maris are the natural home run champs. Can we do the same with teams? According to testimony in the Roger Clemens trial, Clemens wasn't the only member of the 2000 Yankees using HGH. We know about Andy Pettitte and the names of Chuck Knoblauch and Mike Stanton were entered into the record as well. It's not news. The Mitchell Report outed a slew of 2000 Yankees. So Mets fans take heart, you might be able to boast that you're the natural 2000 champs. But be careful before you cast stones. That presumes all your guys were clean, and that's a tall order.
I know it's still relatively early, but at the quarter pole in Major League baseball the top four payrolls ain't producing a good return on their investment. The Yankees, Phillies, Red Sox and Angels are all in last place. Lower payroll teams like Baltimore, Atlanta and Cleveland are all in first. Maybe the baseball Gods are having the last laugh.
5. Back to Back
What was more impressive last night, the Reds hitting back-to-back-to-back homers in the fourth inning against Braves pitcher Mike Minor or Caleb Lloyd, sitting in the left field stands, catching the first two home run balls back to back?
Caleb became an instant celebrity. He had never gotten a ball at a game before. Unfortunately the third homer went to right center, so he had to be satisfied with just his double play.
Happy Birthday: The #1 tennis player in the world, Novak Djokovic. 25.
Bonus Birthday: Tommy John. Do young people know he was a pitcher and not an orthopedic surgeon? 69.
Today in Sports: The Mick hits a ball off the facade at Yankee Stadium against Kansas City's Bill Fischer. 1963.
Bonus Event: The end of an era. Johnny Carson hosts his last Tonight Show. 1992.
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